Pre-College Programs

Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: New Orleans & Louisiana Gulf Coast Faculty

Ecology, Culture, and Sustainable Development for High School Students

Kisa Jo Takesue, Director of Leadership Programs in the School of Professional Studies, has also served as a dean in the Office of Student Life and Director of The Campus Center and Student Activities Office at Brown University. Ms. Takesue has extensive experience developing and exploring leadership skills with teens and young adults, and has been a long-time volunteer for Youth in Action, a non-profit organization in Providence, RI that fosters partnerships between youth, adults, and community members to create positive social change. She has an A.B in American Civilization, specializing in Asian American Studies from Brown University and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Takesue grew up in Hawai’i and Massachusetts and looks forward to spending an exciting week in Lousiana with engaged and curious learners.

Lauren Watka graduated from Brown University with a Master's in Environmental Studies in 2012 and continues to explore the natural, and specifically marine, world at every opportunity. She received a B.S. in biology and has conducted research at Brown University, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Dartmouth College in subjects from micro- and molecular biology to ecology. In addition to research, Lauren has worked as a fisheries scientist on a few New Bedford commercial fishing boats and as an educator with the New England Aquarium in Boston.  Now back at Brown, as a Program Manager, she enjoys the opportunity to learn alongside seasoned environmental education veterans and students new to the field. As a Providence resident, Lauren supports local food and fishery initiatives, bikes as a means of transportation, and serves with her church in the city.

Richard Campanella, Geographer and Senior Professor of Practice at Tulane School of Architecture, is the author of six critically acclaimed books on the physical and human geography of New Orleans, as well as numerous journal articles and studies on New Orleans, historical geography, GIS, and remote sensing. The only two-time winner of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities “Book of the Year” Award, Campanella has also received the Williams Prize for Louisiana History, the Mortar Board Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University, and the Monroe Fellowship from Tulane’s New Orleans Center for the Gulf South. For more information, please visit

Morgan Crutcher is the Technical and Policy Analyst for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), where she provides staff with accurate and reliable scientific, technical, and policy information for the purpose of establishing CRCL’s advocacy positions. Her broad range of previous work includes lobbying D.C. congressional staff for passage of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act for Ducks Unlimited, building nutria captivity pens in a flotant marsh for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Louisiana, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to analyze changes in wetland vegetation in relation to Great Lake levels for the USGS Great Lakes Science Center in Michigan, interviewing Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trailer residents along the Mississippi Gulf Coast for a Columbia University study on the health needs of this population, and fenceline monitoring of an oil refinery in St. Bernard Parish for the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. She has also volunteered in both West Africa and Central America.  Morgan has a bachelor’s in environmental studies from Loyola University, New Orleans and a master’s in natural resource policy from the School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE) at the University of Michigan.